Archive for October, 2008



W&L Hosts One of the 75 Most Influential People of 21st Century

Samantha Power (Walter Chin)

Samantha Power (Walter Chin)

Samantha Power speaks Thursday night in Lee Chapel at 7:30 p.m. Hers will be the first talk this year in the William Lyne Wilson Lecture Series at Washington and Lee University. Power is the Anna Lindh Professor of Practice of Global Leadership and Public Policy at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard. She’s also just been named one of the 75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century by Esquire magazine. As one of those so named, Esquire commissioned video artist Lincoln Shatz to create a “Cube” portrait of Power. Shatz uses custom software to create generative portraits of his subjects.

For her portrait, Power and John Prendergast, founder of the Enough Project, included five genocide survivors. The green bracelets, which say, “Not on Our Watch,” represent the growing strength worldwide of the movement to eliminate genocide. Take a look at the video portrait on Esquire’s Cube blog.

You might also want to check out the video below from an appearance Power made at Boston’s Night to Save Darfur for a sense of her perspectives on these issues:

Journal Cites Gains in Black Enrollment in Law School

Washington and Lee’s School of Law is one of nine law schools in the nation to have reported an increase of 20 percent or more in the enrollment of black students over the past eight years, according to a report in The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education. The study shows that W&L’s 28.6 percent increase contrasts with declines at a majority of top-ranked law schools. The report looked at enrollment change between 1999 and 2007. The University of Texas showed that greatest percentage increase of 79 percent while the University of Illinois saw the steepest decline of 47 percent.

Remembering Murph

Marita Murray, widow of Charles F. "Murph" Murray, was on hand for the unveiling of a plaque in her last husband's honor. (Kevin Remington photo)

Marita Murray, widow of Charles F. (Murph) Murray, was on hand for the unveiling of a plaque in her late husband's honor.

Prior to Saturday’s Hall of Fame football game against Hampden-Sydney, there was a brief ceremony in front of Doremus Gymnasium to unveil a plaque in honor of Charles F. “Murph” Murray. Murph, who served for 32 years as Washington and Lee’s “proctor” or head of security, died this past March. He was 86. His widow, Marita, was on hand for the unveiling. The plaque is perfectly situated to take advantage all the foot traffic to the newly-named Duchossois Athletic Complex. It’s worth pausing on the way back and forth across that bridge to pay tribute to someone who, as President Ken Ruscio has said, “shaped the character of W&L.”

Students, Neighbors Adopt a Highway

Cleaning up the adopted stretch of Furrs Mill Road.

Cleaning up the adopted stretch of Furrs Mill Road.

Seinfeld fans will no doubt remember when Kramer adopted a stretch of highway and caused chaos by repainting the lanes. It was his highway, after all. The W&L Campus-Community Coalition didn’t paint new stripes on Furrs Mill Road Sunday, but more than 50 members of the coalition spent several hours cleaning up the two miles of highway that the groups has adopted. In addition to beautifying the roadway, the avowed goal of the Campus-Community is to bring students and neighbors together to get to know each other better. The adopted highway is one element of the program that includes open forums where students and neighbors talk about common issues.

W&L Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Dawn Watkins talks about the effort in the video below:

“Grant and Lee in War and Peace” Opens at New York Historical Society

The New York Historical Society’s new exhibit, “Grant and Lee in War and Peace,” opens today (Oct. 17) and runs through March 29, 2009. The exhibit features numerous objects from Washington and Lee’s Washington-Custis-Lee collection. These include a copy of Charles Wilson Peale’s portrait of George Washington, a marble bust of Lee, and the Benjamin West painting of Lee with his wife, Mary Randolph Custis Lee. The exhibit in New York grew out of an earlier presentation by the Virginia Historical Society, which began as an observance of Lee’s 200th birthday in 2007.

In his story about the exhibit, Associated Press writer Richard Pyle begins:

Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee met face-to-face only twice – once toward the end of the war wtih Mexico in 1848, and 17 years later at Appomattox, where then-Union commander Grant accepted the surrender of Lee’s battered Confederate army.

But the lives of these two iconic figures of 19th century America were both parallel and intertwined, as a new exhibit opening Friday at the New York Historical Society makes clear. “Grant and Lee in War and Peace” illuminates two men who in their similarities, differences and self-contradictions embodied the travails, successes and failures of the fast-expanding nation.

The Historical Society Web site has some of the artwork and a short video about the exhibit. You can also check out the New York Times review of the exhibition here.

W&L Alumnus Wins Honor in China

Charles McElwee II, a 1978 W&L graduate who practices and teaches environmental law in China, has been given Shanghai’s the Magnolia Award, named for the city’s official blossom. It is the highest honor bestowed by the Shanghai on foreigners who have “contributed significantly to Shanghai’s economic performance, international relations, business environment, management standards and community development.”

McElwee works with the international law firm of Squire, Sanders and Dorsey. He was in Cleveland and San Francisco before moving to Shanghai where he has clearly made a mark. In addition to practicing law there, he teaches environmental and energy law at Shanghai Jiaotong University. He is widely considered China’s foremost specialist in the field and, according to the China Speakers Bureau, is one of the top speakers on the subject. Below are is a presentation in two parts in which discusses environmental law in China.


Hall of Famers Coming to Town

Unbeaten 1961 Generals

Unbeaten 1961 Generals

This weekend’s Hall of Fame induction will mark the third time that an entire team has been inducted as one. The 1961 football team, unbeaten and winners of the “Timmie Trophy” from the Washington, D.C., Touchdown Club as the Outstanding Small College Football team in the country will join four former Generals as this year’s inductees. Prior to this year, the other teams that were so honored were the 1988 men’s tennis team, which won the national championship, and the 1950 football team, which won the Southern Conference and played in the Gator Bowl.

That 1961 team was truly dominant. It outscored opponents 297 to 46 and had only one close call, a season-opening win over Hampden-Sydney.

In addition to the ’61 team, this year’s inductees are Dave Warfield ’75 (lacrosse), Jack Berry ’76 (football), Andrew White ’88 (track and field), and Beth Stutzmann ’90 (track and field, soccer, and swimming).

The Hall of Fame was established in 1987 and inducted its first class in 1988. The Hall of Fame Web site has profiles of all the inductees and also features a form for nominations.